The EU AI Act aims to establish strong ethical guidelines for AI across sectors. While media focus on the act, existing laws will likely also be updated to protect citizens from potential harms of AI already permeating daily life.
This article explores how the push for ethical AI may soon impact various industries.
Augmented Data Protection and Privacy
The EU AI Act will strengthen existing privacy laws as well as regulate AI. Expected trends include allowing opt-outs from automated decisions, and requiring Data Protection Assessments for high-risk personal data activities. These changes will impact industries using AI to profile individuals.
Government and Politics
AI is increasingly used in government to analyze voter data and automate communications. Concerns about misuse means regulations are likely such as:
- Banning AI processing of ballots, due to fears of bias or hacking.
- Requiring disclosures if communications use AI text generation to customize messaging.
- Mandating political ads say if persuasive content was AI-generated.
Hiring and Employment
AI has become integral in hiring, screening resumes and ranking applicants algorithmically. But this leads to fears of bias. Expected protections include:
- Limiting use of race or zip code proxies in automated hiring decisions, which could perpetuate discrimination.
- Requiring bias audits for hiring algorithms, to prevent scoring that disadvantages minorities.
- Notifying candidates about AI use and data inputs, so they can appeal unfair assessments.
Healthcare AI aims to improve patient outcomes through personalized diagnosis and treatment recommendations. But risks mean stricter regulations, like:
- Preventing discrimination by factors like race, gender or age when making care decisions.
- Limiting nurses' reliance on AI recommendations, which may incorrectly override human judgment.
- Requiring approval and monitoring of mental health AI, a sensitive area prone to bias.
- Mandating patient consent and awareness, so they understand how AI impacts their care.
Media and Advertising
AI in media can create personalized, engaging content. But risks around consent and misinformation may prompt regulations including:
- Requiring disclosures if "synthetic media" like AI-generated video or audio is used.
- Restricting replacement of actors with AI avatars without consent, as this could threaten livelihoods.
- Banning nonconsensual AI-generated sexual imagery, which raises ethical concerns.
Insurers use AI to automate risk analysis. Regulations may include:
- Requiring proof that auto insurance AI does not discriminate unfairly.
- Banning factors like age and income for rate-setting, as proxies could reinforce discrimination.
Read more on how the insurance industry has reacted to the draft EU AI Act.
The EU AI Act demonstrates how governments are moving to get ahead of emerging issues as AI becomes further entrenched across industries. While the exact regulations are still in flux, the act signals a tightening of existing data and privacy laws, plus comprehensive new rules tailored to high-risk sectors. The goal is to balance innovation with thoughtful oversight that protects individuals from potential discrimination, loss of agency and other harms.
As this legislation takes shape, it provides a glimpse into the future of AI governance. Companies would be wise to proactively audit their algorithms and data practices before stringent regulations are enacted. Adopting ethical AI frameworks now can help position organizations as stewards of this technology as it continues proliferating. The EU AI Act is just the beginning - we can expect to see governments worldwide step up to oversee this increasingly powerful technology and its impacts on society.